Each day during the playoffs, the Flyers’ city-leading PR department sends out a list of articles from the credentialed media outlets covering the series. It’s a handy reference guide to see what’s being talked about that day. It’s the soup du jour and, mmm, that sounds great and I’ll have that.
One thing that strikes me about this email thread is that seemingly everyone has an opinion about what the Flyers need to do. Each day, a new need. Are these things that are mandatory for success, or is this what happens when the league stretches out a series and beat writers are forced to create content that doesn’t need to exist? I’ll go with the latter, but we need to examine further.
As you might expect, Inquirer reporter Sam Carchidi is the biggest need monger [headlines bolded]:
April 19, following Game 1 loss:
Camden Courier-Post – Mason hoping for return, but Flyers NEED more help
New York Post – Flyers in desperate NEED of adjustments after Game 1 dud
OK, Coach Craig, you’re gonna need more than a healthy Mason and you will need to make adjustments, too.
Philadelphia Inquirer – Giroux NEEDS to get going
CSNPhilly.com – Flyers NEED top line to make impact vs. Rangers
Camden Courier-Post – Flyers NEED to do more with the puck if they are to even series
Coach, you’ll need to add Giroux, top line and “do more with the puck” to your list of needs. Good luck in Game 2.
April 21, following Game 2 win:
No need to do anything. Good job, Coach. You need not worry. Dammit.
Carry on, Garth.
April 23, following Game 3 loss:
Bucks County Courier Times – Giroux NEEDS to be better for Flyers to survive
Giroux again, Coach. You need him.
April 24, an extra off day with a lot of space to fill:
Carchidi feels that it might be Giroux’s teammates who are to blame. They need to help him out. The headline and quotes from Carchidi’s two stories that day:
“The Flyers also NEED to get more quality chances on goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who has a 1.68 goals-against average in the first three games of the series.”
Philadelphia Inquirer – Broad Street Bull: Flyers NEED to give Giroux some support
“They NEED to get more traffic in front of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, NEED to be less predictable in the offensive end.
Oh, and they NEED their forwards to give their hard-working captain some assistance.”
“Conversely, the Flyers NEED to be a bit more artful to succeed.”
Chances, support, traffic, less predictability (hello Pot, meet Kettle), assistance and artfulness. All needs.
Philadelphia Daily News – Flyers NEED to take advantage on power play
April 26, after Game 4 win:
All good, Coach.
Philadelphia Inquirer – Flyers NEED to stay out of penalty box
Well, there is one thing.
April 28, after Game 5 loss:
“Coach Craig Berube NEEDS to do some tinkering to get the Flyers’ attack going in Game 6.”
As Game 6 approaches, NEED OVERLOAD!
Philadelphia Inquirer – Flyers NEED Schenn to boost offense
Philadelphia Inquirer – Broad Street Bull: Timonen: Flyers NEED to be in attack mode in Game 6
New needs emerge heading into do-or-die game, Coach. Gonna need Schenn to step up. Also, attack more. You need to do that.
And now, NEEDGASM!!!!
PhiladelphiaFlyers.com – Greenberg: What NEEDS to be done
“When you reach the end of your rope you NEED more guys pulling. It can be almost as simple as that for the Flyers.
“Don’t blame Wayne Simmonds, who NEED more help from his linemates to make life difficult for Henrik Lundqvist. The Ranger goalie has not been stoning players because he hasn’t had to be. The Flyers’ last rebound goal, unless you count Matt Reed’s off the backboard, was in Game 2.”
“All this never-say-die stuff that put the Flyers in the playoffs has left them one more bad period from the death of their season. They NEED a lead.”
And our old fat friend, Randy Miller, bringing it home:
NJ.com – 2014 NHL Playoffs: 5 things Flyers NEED to do to get to Game 7
Here are 5 things the Flyers NEED to do to get to Game 7:
1. Slumpers NEEDS to wake up
2. Gotta finish chances
3. Elite goaltending
The Flyers NEED the Game 4 Steve Mason in goal for Game 6
4. Play with lead
The Flyers NEED to strike first.
5. Cash in on power plays
To get this series back to the Garden for a Game 7, they NEED to take advantage of their 5-on-4s in Game 6.
So, if you’re keeping score at home (I am), here’s what the Flyers need to do to win this series: They need more help than just Mason, to make adjustments, for Giroux to play better but also to support him, their top line to play better, to do more with the puck, to get more quality chances by getting traffic in front and while at the same time being less predictable, to take advantage on the power play and stay out of the box themselves, to do some tinkering, for Schenn to play better, to be in attack mode, more guys pulling on an imaginary rope, to support Wayne Simmonds in making life difficult for Lundqvist, a lead, for their slumpers to wake up, to finish their chances, elite goaltending, another lead, and that power play thing again.
You getting all this, Coach?